It seems as if but for the FBI whistle-blower who went to GOP Congressman Dave Reichert, who in turn went to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, David Petraeus might still be Director of the CIA.
The story raises questions not just of who knew what when, but who didn‘t know and who should have known, of why choices were made to tell certain people, but not others.
Why did Reichert go to Cantor and not Speaker of the House John Boehner? Why didn’t Cantor go to his boss Boehner and/or the intelligence committee?
Cantor says that he didn’t tell anyone other than FBI Director Mueller. Of course, Mueller already knew, but now he had to deal with the fact that the super-ambitious Cantor — who wishes neither Boehner nor Obama well — also knew and could speak publicly at any time.
But did Cantor tell anyone at Mitt’s campaign? Could it be that Mitt knew before Obama did? And given that Eric Holder knew last summer, is it possible that no one at the White House knew? Did the knowledge go up from Mueller to Holder and stop there?
GOP officials and conservative media have been questioning the timing of the release right after the election and right before Petraeus was to testify to Congress about Benghazi.
Release before the election wouldn’t have helped Mitt, it would have just taken more attention away from Mitt’s campaign. Petraeus was popular among Republicans, so a scandal involving him wouldn’t have tainted Obama, the way a scandal involving a more equivocal figure, say Eric Holder, would have.
As for Benghazi, there’s no reason Petraeus can’t still testify, and I expect he will, just not this week.
The story also raises questions of when a whistle-blower is truly a whistle-blower and when he or she is just being insubordinate and “going rogue” by refusing to accept a superior’s reasonable judgment. I’m not sure that this person uncovered any corruption or criminal activity that justified going outside normal channels to Cantor.
I think the FBI had concluded that Petraeus hadn’t breached national security and hadn’t committed any crime, so they were going to leave him alone. Enter the whistle-blower and Eric Cantor.